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CCHQ goes on the attack over energy prices – you’d pay £61 more under Labour, they warn

By Peter Hoskin
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The Energy Bill will be debated in Parliament today, but the scrap is already underway on the streets of Westminster. CCHQ has today released a graphic – contained within Grant Shapps' tweet, above – pointing to a stark choice: an immediate £61 rise in your energy bills under Labour’s current plans versus a “potential saving” of £158 under the Conservatives’. That graphic is also pasted at the bottom of this post.

Where do the numbers come from? The £158 is from an Ofgem report which suggests that people can save up to that much by switching to the cheapest tariff deal on the market, as the Tories’ policies allow. The other figure is based on Ed Miliband’s opposition to solar subsidy reforms which have, apparently, already saved an average £61 for each household.

Of course, the number on Ed Miliband’s side of the ledger could rise or fall depending on what other policies he has in store – but CCHQ is keen to stress that “this is a minimum figure, as Ed Miliband also wants to hike bills by wasting money on a rebrand of the Ofgem regulator, and on reorganising the utilities market so that energy is ‘pooled’ for auction”. They’re not giving any ground in the battle over the cost of living.    

And others aren’t prepared to give ground, either. In his article for ConservativeHome yesterday, Charles Hendry – a self-described “enthusiastic supporter of a low-carbon economy” – explained why he won’t support Tim Yeo’s amendment calling for decarbonisation targets for 2030. “The costs of getting it wrong would have to be picked up by consumers for decades to come,” is how he put it.

Anyway, here’s that graphic again: